March 16, 2001

The Alternate Public Defender and Casey Family Programs Are Currently Seeking Family Advocate Volunteers

The Alternate Public Defender represents parents in San Diego in Juvenile Court child dependency matters. To better serve parents and families, we have established the Strategic Options after Rehabilitation and Reunification Program. Family Advocates are community volunteers who want to help parents reunite with their children. Our Advocates help families in many ways. Advocates teach parents how to budget. They share tips on child care and appropriate discipline. They help find community resources and programs that benefit parents and children. In addition, Family Advocates help parents find furniture to make a home for a returning child, provide moral support and encouragement to parents who are fulfilling their responsibilities as a parent and sometimes they provide parents and outlet for their frustrations and emotions by just listening.

Family Advocates will receive initial and ongoing training to help them better understand the needs of the parents and families they serve. The Family Advocates work under the supervision of a Social Worker and Volunteer Coordinator. The Department of the Alternate Public Defender provides office space and support at each of its office locations. Volunteers may serve from our offices nearest their community.

We are looking for volunteers who are committed to the idea that children belong in their own families whenever possible. We need people who are themselves mature and patient, with a rich life experience.

If you or members of your organization are interested in serving families and children in our community with the Strategic Options after Rehabilitation and Reunification Program, please contact Bill McCastle at (619) 236-2659 or Pamela Contreras at (619) 543-0774. They will provide an application and arrange to answer any questions you may have. William E.P. McCastle, Coordinator of Volunteer and Public Services.

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